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By Mike Johnson on 2016-01-06 23:34:50
IWGP Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura acknowledged in an interview with Tokyo Sports that he is indeed leaving New Japan at the end of January, when his current contract expires.  In  the interview (you can read a Google translated version at this link), Nakamura notes that he has plans to reach the world on a bigger stage via WWE. 

WWE sources indicate the two sides have not spoken officially (due to the contract status, there is a big concern internally about what might be considered tampering for all the obvious reasons). That said, as previously reported on, Nakamura reached out to WWE about potential interest in him a year ago but by the time WWE responded (after the 2015 WrestleKingdom Dome show), he had already signed a one year deal with NJPW. Nakamura remains the IWGP IC champion, but it would appear NJPW is paving the way for Kenny Omega to take that championship.

Although there is rampant speculation about WWE signing Nakamura, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Doc/Luke Gallows, the reality remains that none of the quartet have been signed yet and none will be until they are legally free and clear to do so (currently, only Styles and Gallows would be) and if and when they take and pass WWE medical and physical examinations.

It is believed there's been communication between at least Gallows and Styles and WWE, although all sides are trying to keep it quiet, with the exception of WWE driving traffic to their website and social media with speculative stories. As Dave Scherer reported today during the "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Name Show" in the PWInsider Elite section (which you can subscribe to by clicking here), those articles are said to have been a HHH call with the idea that WWE shouldn't let other websites get traffic and attention for a story they can also benefit from. has also confimed that WWE has been in discussions with another NJPW performer, Roppongi Vice member Rocky Romero about a potential deal with the company as well.  Romero has been down to the WWE Performance Center numerous times in 2015 helping with training.  It's unknown whether his potential deal is to come in as a performer or work as a Coach.

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